Eric John Olson

Do I already know the answers to the questions this work asks?

Who is this work for? Me, other artists, an institution, or a broader community?

How is the work useful?

How can the work be instrumentalized by its participants, collaborators, or audience?

Where is paradise?

Does this work embody the change I want to see in the world?

Is it radical enough?

How can the work hold many viewpoints together?

If the change that matters is the one that occurs in the imagination first, how does the work inspire or make use of collective imagination?

Does the work challenge me to dream or re-imagine what feels possible?

Where is sustainability in the practice?

What is the work’s relationship to power? How can the work shift power in an equitable way?

How can the work be subversive?

What’s my value-added proposition?

What can I do better? What felt awkward, laborious, excessive, or tenuous? How can every part of the project strengthen the core concept?

Does the project still sound interesting when described in only a couple sentences?

Where does my joy live in the work?

How does the work help us talk about difficult things, or things we don’t want to examine?

If seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, how can the work help me see?

Where is the light in the dark?


For more about Eric’s work, click here.

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a publication dedicated to supporting, documenting and contextualising social forms of art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal takes an eclectic look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions and the public. The Journal supports and discusses projects that offer critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.

Created within the Portland State University Art & Social Practice Masters In Fine Arts. Program, SoFA Journal is now fully online.

Conversations on Everything is an expanding collection of interviews produced as part of SoFA Journal. Through the potent format of casual interviews as artistic research, insight is harvested from artists, curators, people of other fields and everyday humans. These conversations study social forms of art as a field that lives between and within both art and life.

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